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Concepts & f0rms of victim services - micro. John P. J. Dussich, Ph. D. Tokiwa International Victimology Institute “Victimology & Victim Assistance” LPSK Bogor, Indonesia March 25, 2013. State of the art .

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concepts f0rms of victim services micro

Concepts & f0rms of victim services - micro

John P. J. Dussich, Ph. D.

Tokiwa International

Victimology Institute

“Victimology & Victim Assistance”


Bogor, Indonesia

March 25, 2013

state of the art

State of the art

In some countries, like Indonesia, the emphasis on victims is focused primarily on their protection and very little on their trauma and recovery.

Of course to address the needs of the criminal justice system the prosecution must have good (cooperative) witnesses; this is what the system needs to function. However, the criminal justice system must also serve the human rights of the victims by considering their needs as well; this is what victims need in order to function.

key roles for providers
Key roles for providers
  • Victim service providers have two key roles: Case advocacy – those used to work directly with victims at the case level (micro), and,

System advocacy - working systemically and indirectly with victims (macro).

  • This lecture is mostly about working directly with victims within a victim assistance center.
the nature of a victim s experience
The nature of a victim’s experience
  • Their human & victim rights were violated.
  • They have felt loss & pain (sometimes physical, sometimes emotional, sometimes both).
  • In many cases this is their first time and they are confused about what to do, where to get services and how to cope with their situation.
  • If they have severe trauma it can result in a variety of symptoms: constant anxiety, phobic responses, hyper vigilance, insomnia, eating disorders, flash backs, irrational thoughts etc.
victim trauma
Victim Trauma
  • Trauma occurs when the psyche is suddenly exposed to an unexpected, intense physical & psychological force producing emotional & physical pain & injury.
    • Emotional injury is a normal response to an abnormal event.
    • The formation of memories linked to painful emotions can produce strong phobias.
    • The more direct/intense the force, the greater the risk of trauma, the more the injury, & the longer it lasts.
    • Normal coping mechanisms are usually unable to deal with these strong attacks so the person often becomes disoriented, severely dysfunctional and is in dire need of psycho-social or therapeutic assistance.
definition of victim services
Definition of Victim Services

Victim services – a range of activities offered to victims in response to their victimization with the intention of relieving suffering, providing guidance, offering protection, preventing reoccurrenceand facilitating recovery.

As soon as safety is assured, victim recovery is the primary objective and is defined as the resumption of the same or better level of functionality enjoyed prior to victimization, having significantly

fewer symptoms, & enhanced self-esteem.

the return to normalcy self esteem
The return to normalcy & self esteem
  • Degree of normalcy as measured by following characteristics:
  • Trust - Relationships re-established
  • Safety - Autonomy
  • Initiative - Acknowledged memory
  • Competence - Manageable symptoms
  • Identity -Achievement of resourcefulness
  • Intimacy -Control
  • Ability to ward off potential threats
  • Restored self esteem as measured by:
  • A positive image of self, with
  • A sense of empowerment and
  • A feeling of wellbeing.
providing information
Providing Information
  • One major common need often overlooked, which is relatively easy to provide is information about:
    • What happened to them, are they to blame, what is likely to happen, to them, what will their role likely be, and how they will achieve recover?.
    • Where to get services, what are the key telephone numbers, what are their hours of operation, where to get shelter, food, clothing, advice and locate needed loved ones.

This is easy to provide!

making victim assessments
Making Victim Assessments
  • All interventions, no matter how simple or complex, require a comprehensive assessment prior to providing services.
  • It should be a complete psycho-social evaluation, either with tests or interviews of the victim – as soon as after the victimization as possible.
  • The main objective is to determine the extent of injury and trauma in order to: propose a reasonable intervention planto relieve suffering & facilitate recovery to fit the victim’s needs
crisis intervention
Crisis Intervention
  • A crisis has 3 key elements: an overwhelming event, a perception of that event, and a victim’s ability to cope with the event.
  • Crisis intervention is the provision of brief emergency psychological care to traumatized victims to return them to an adaptive level of functioning & to prevent revictimization, & mitigate the immediate & long-term negative impacts.
individual interventions
Individual Interventions
  • Psycho-social interventions are directed at: developing coping strategies &enhancing skills for dealing with physical and emotional symptoms of stress and trauma.
  • Potential of relieving as much suffering as possible and hasten a return to normal functioning: recovery
  • Recovery should be the end result of all interventions & must be defined as a criterion, recognized & agreed upon by all advocates.
group interventions
Group Interventions

Working with groups is efficient and some victims feel more comfortable in a group setting. There are

wide ranges of protocols, especially with already existing groups (schools, banks, hospitals, etc.).

The benefit of utilizing the synergy from existing groups systems can often facilitate recovery beyond working with individuals.

All group work must be lead by a trained leader.

ideal results of case advocacy
Ideal results of case advocacy
  • The tools that must be available to bring a victim to a restored, just and complete recovery will likely lead to: victim satisfaction, healing of the victim, a more cooperative witness, fewer re-victimizations, fewer victims

converting to offending, and greater closure

and restoration for all involved.

the intersection between case advocacy and system advocacy
The intersection between case advocacy and system advocacy
  • The knowledge gained from cased advocacy, is a high level of understanding of victim behaviors, an appreciation of the criminal justice system and its impact on victims, & a sensitivity to the human needs of victims.
  • This knowledge forms the basis of realizing the gaps and the overlaps in services, such that advocates are in a unique position (more than any other agent of the system) as to how laws and policies should be changed to minimizevictim suffering& maximizevictim recovery.
engage in system advocacy
Engage in System Advocacy
  • The next form of social advocacy is:

Systems’ Advocacy – representing victims as a class; promoting new laws and policies. One of the most underdeveloped aspect of victim advocacy!